Cancale France – Brittany’s Oyster Capital

View of the port of Cancale
View of the port of Cancale. [Sony A7RIII; Lens: FE 35mm; Aperture: F16]
Mr. Misadventures and I were first lured to Cancale, a coastal fishing village and oyster capital of Brittany (and France), by an episode of Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations (Season 5, Episode 22). The year was 2010 the place was Olivier Roellinger’s Chateau Richeux and the trip was unforgettable. Since then we have been back 4 times and the spell that Cancale holds over us has not been broken yet. Because I have spent so much time in Cancale, including using it as our home base for our most recent 10-day trip, I feel like I’ve got a good handle on this pearl (ok, I had to go there) of a spot along the Brittany coast. So here is my [unofficial] guide to [adventures and misadventures in] Cancale France.

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While Cancale is generally known for one thing, it’s oysters, it is surrounded by quite a lot of natural beauty. On clear days you get a great view of Mont Saint-Michel in the distance, the hike in and out of Cancale on the GR34 trail is beautiful (especially Pointe du Grouin which people cannot get enough of!) and the beaches and camping in the surrounding communes are sandy and welcoming. It’s also an epicurean hot spot with the Chef Roellinger’s Les Maisons de Bricourt dynasty and the ever-growing French/Breton/Japanese empire of Bertrand Larcher. The 2 battle it out for excellence in local cuisine and hospitality and we, the guests, are the winners!

Cancale, the World is your Oyster!

Cancale Oysters being sold in Saint-Malo France
Cancale Oysters being sold in Saint-Malo France.

So you can’t write about Cancale without writing about their oysters. Cancale in its very soul is an oyster (and fishing) village. The Romans started harvesting them on this conquered coast centuries ago, but it wasn’t only in the 1920s that cultivating oysters became something of economic value – as the rich Parisians began building homes on the Emerald Coast, the demand for oysters grew (oysters had traditionally been a favorite of French kings and nobility). There are 2 types of oysters cultivated in France, a native flat oyster (huître plate or Belon) and the rounded or hollow oyster (huître creuse) which was imported from Japan (see another connection with Japan). The flat oyster only makes up about 2% of the production as it was infected with a parasite in the 1970s, but thanks to a miraculous batch of them in another area of Brittany that was immune, a small amount has survived (and you can imagine they cost a little bit more). The oysters are grown on family farms in Cancale and Saint-Meloir-des-Ondes in cooperatives.

Oyster Farm in Cancale FranceOyster Farm in Cancale FranceOyster Farm in Cancale France

You can learn more about the history of oyster farming, how the oysters are harvested, do an oyster tasting and check out the oyster museum at the La Ferme Marine de Cancale / Marine Farm of Cancale (follow the signs from D76). Tours are conducted Monday through Friday at 3 pm in French and during the summer tourists season (July 1 through mid-September) Monday through Friday at 2 pm. You do not have reserve ahead of time and the price for the tour is 7.70 Euros (children and family rates available). The one thing you absolutely do need is boots, or wellies as the British call them, garden boots, etc. Those are kind of big (but not heavy) to fit in a suitcase. We actually bought a pair in the grocery store (Super U in Cancale) that were perfect.

Oyster Farm in Cancale France
Oyster farm in Cancale. [Sony A7RIII; Lens: FE 12-24mm; Aperture: F16]
You can also tour the oyster beds of Cancale with a naturalist. The tour conducted by the Tourist Office of Saint-Malo (why not Cancale? Don’t ask!) takes place at low tide at costs 8 Euros (4 for children). There is only room for 35 people so you need to book ahead. The tour is offered mainly on Mondays and Tuesdays in the afternoon (check the schedule) depending on the tide and time of year. You also need boots to do the tour.

Oyster Farm in Cancale FranceOyster Farm in Cancale France

The Cancale Oyster Market - Marche aux Huitres at the Port in Cancale France
The Cancale Oyster Market – Marche aux Huitres at the Port in Cancale. [Sony A7RIII; Lens: FE 35mm; Aperture: F16]
One of the best places to try the local oysters is the Marché aux Huîtres / Oyster Market (2 Rue des Parcs) at the end of the port. Another cooperative selling fresh from the sea oysters right by the beds. They are fresher and cheaper than the restaurants and a fun show to watch. Since we started coming to Cancale they’ve also added a wine truck so you can enjoy a nice glass of wine with your dozen or 2.

Oyster Farm in Cancale FranceOyster Farm in Cancale FranceOyster Farm in Cancale France

What to Do and See in Cancale France

I like to use Cancale is a home base because it is a small town that is easy to get in and out of. It’s not complicated to get to a myriad of places so it makes a good hub for daily road trips and explorations. There are 2 distinct parts to Cancale, the port and the village center on a hill above the port. But there are also some surrounding communes (villages) that are folded in as well. There isn’t a ton to do but that’s why I think it makes a good trip headquarters if you know what I mean! The weather in Cancale is what it is throughout Brittany which reminds me very much of America’s Pacific Northwest so rainy and cloudy with a beautiful summer. We were there in spring so we had a mixture of sun, rain, and clouds. Primetime along the Brittany Coast, Emerald Coast, or Côtes-d’Armor (what the northern part of Brittany is called) is generally May to October.

The Port – La Houle

View of the port of Cancale from the pier
View of the port of Cancale from the pier. [Sony A7RIII; Lens: Zeiss Batis 85mm; Aperture: F16]
Port Cancale FrancePort Cancale FrancePort Cancale France

There are 2 sections to the port. The harbor where the oyster market, small lighthouse, and pier are and the more residential end where there are vacation homes. Occupying old fishing houses are restaurants, shops, and hotels which are on both parts of this strip. It is a nice little walk from one end of the port to the other. There is a roundabout that connects the 2 pieces and from that roundabout, you can walk up the hill to the town center.

La Cancalaise

Cancale-Brittany-France-Le Cancalais
Le Cancalais bisquine boat outside of Cancale. [Sony A7RIII; Lens: FE 100-400mm; Aperture: F16]
From Cancale, you can grab a cruise on La Cancalaise. The traditional fishing boat in the region is called a bisquine and La Cancalaise is a replica of a bisquine called The Pearl (LE Perle) from 1905. They sail April 15th through October 15th on the Bay of Mont-St-Michel and have half-day (42 Euros) and full-day tours (75 Euros). Their website is in French but they do offer tours in French and English. You have to request a reservation by email or give them a call. They have an office in Cancale (La Halle à Marée 15 place du Calvaire) which is open from 2-5 (I know, bankers hours!) every day except Wednesday and Sunday.

Centre Ville

During our most recent trip to Cancale, we stayed right smack dab in the center of town at the town square. It was amazing for access to restaurants, bakers, newspaper stores, small grocery stores, you name it! Everything was walkable and convenient. The port was a 15-minute walk down the hill (and back up!) There is a farmers market every Sunday from 8:30 to 12:30 as well. The market is behind the beautiful church. There is a little theater, a sailing museum, a cooking school, and shops but the best thing, people. We lived truly like a local for 10 days and it was great! I can’t say the same for the summertime but we never had a problem with parking and always found a spot near our condo.

GR34 – Sentier des Doaniers

GR34 - Sentier des Doaniers - CancaleGR34 - Sentier des Doaniers - CancaleGR34 - Sentier des Doaniers - Cancale

GR stands for Grande Randonnée in French which means both Grande as in Big or Large and Grande as in Great and Randonnée is a hike. And the GR34 is exactly that. There are different parts and pieces but in total it is 1,700 km/1,056 miles long, starting in Vitré and ending in Tour-du-Parc, Morbihan. I would argue that some of the best pieces run right along the Emerald Coast. You can walk from Mont Saint-Michel to Cancale (9 m/15 km) and Cancale to Saint-Malo (10.5 m/17 km) with points such as the beautiful Pointe du Grouin along the way. We also hiked part of it at Fort La Latte in the Cap Frehel area. I love the sentier des doaniers – customs trails – they are beautiful, well kept up and I feel like I am walking on a part of history!

Port Cancale FrancePort Cancale FrancePort Cancale France

We have walked from Chateau Richeux down to the port in Cancale for lunch and back. The first 2 photos of the 3 above are from 2010 and when we hiked from the chateau to Cancale again last fall (last photo, 2018) it was just as beautiful. The trail runs along the cliffs and the coast and it is spectacular!

Beaches and Camping in Cancale

Plage de la Saussaye near Cancale France
Plage de la Saussaye, Cancale. [Sony A7RIII; Lens: FE 35mm; Aperture: F16]
Because of our time in an RV and our love for camping, we always check out the campgrounds wherever we. stay someplace. Cancale has a TON of camping in the little communes surrounding the town on the coast. They are big ones too! I was very impressed with the size and facilities. Although I can’t help to think about the French movie “Camping” (it doesn’t take place anywhere near Cancale, but I always think about it nonetheless!

Here are the camping areas we took a peek at:

  • Camping Bois Pastel (13 rue de la Corgnais)
  • Camping de Loisirs Bel Air (50 rue du Stade)
  • Camping Municipal de la Pointe du Grouin (located at you guessed it, Pointe du Grouin)
  • Camping Notre Dame du Verger (La Ville Aumont)

The camping is good because there are beautiful coastal views and great, sandy beaches and dunes. Here are 3 beaches we checked out:

  • Plage de la Saussaye (on the road to Saint-Coulomb) slightly steep path to get to it, but not as crowded as some of the other beaches (in the summer). Off-season, it really doesn’t matter!
  • Plage du Guesclin (north of Saint-Coulomb, between the points of Grands Nez and Nid) the beach is visible from the road and has lifeguards in the summer.
  • Plage De La Touesse (bay of Touesse in Saint-Coulomb) forest-lined road leading to a white sandy beach.

Best View of Cancale

Cancale-Brittany-France- port at sunset
View of the port of Cancale at sunrise. [Sony A7RIII; Lens: FE 12-24mm; Aperture: F16]

Before reaching the city coming from Mont Saint-Michel and Saint-Méloir-des-Ondes on D76 you will see there is a beautiful lookout over the port of Cancale. It is beautiful for sunrise and sunset and on clear days you can see Mont Saint-Michel off in the distance. It really is the best spot to capture the heart of Cancale!

Special Events

Les Bordees is an annual festival celebrating the traditional maritime music of the region. It’s held in April and can be quite rowdy as you can imagine a festival with drinking and singing could be, but the hospitality and joviality of the festival make it so enjoyable!

Where to Eat in Cancale

Gallette Complete at Breizh Cafe in Cancale France

Like most of the Brittany coast the food you will find in restaurants is going to lean towards, seafood and crepes. There is just such an abundance of fresh seafood to choose from, even in oyster town that you will be a happy camper if you are fond of gifts from the sea. If meat and potatoes are more your style, do not fret, there are great pork and beef in the region as well. For the sweet tooth, there are all the buttery pastries and salted caramel to keep you going!

Chef Olivier Roellinger Cancale – Les Maisons de Bricourt

We were introduced to Chef Roellinger through an episode of No Reservations. We came to stay at one of his hotels Chateau Richeux in 2010. It was a luxury stay and fine dining experience that remains on the top of my list of things I want to do over and over again. Olivier Roellinger was born in Cancale and after culinary school, he opened up a restaurant celebrating Breton ingredients. That restaurant would eventually earn itself 3 Michelin stars. But after a motorcycle accident that nearly took his life, he gave up his Michelin stars, traveled the world where he found a newfound passion for exotic spices and came back to open Le Coquillage inside of Chateau Richeux. From there came the empire that is well known in this part of France, Les Maisons de Bricourt.

From there has come several hotels, guest homes, restaurants, cooking school, spice shop, pastry shop and now a spa. I have not stayed in his other properties because Chateau Richeux is a little slice of heaven. A mansion on the cliff overlooking the sea with access to trails. There is a farm, a garden, and orchard and a bakery on premises, why would you ever want to stay anywhere else? But this section is about food. So I will tell you that the Roellinger team is fiercely dedicated to sourcing the finest local ingredients and supporting local farms. I still rate the breakfast I had for room service on one of our stays as one of the best breakfasts I’ve ever had: bread from his onsite bakery with Brittany butter and Brittany preserves; sliced Brittany strawberries to accompany the fresh yogurt made from milk from Breton cows, some of the most delicate scrambled eggs I’ve ever tasted and coffee from some corner of the world, and not the usual French arabica swill.

Chateau Richieux Cancale France

We’ve had 2 dinners at Le Coquillage. One was a tasting menu and one was a plateau royale (big beautiful tray of seafood). Both came with the dessert cart, something that Chef Roellinger is known for. There are no rules you can have as much dessert as you want – all or many, you choose your delight. It is where Mr. Misadventures met the millefeuille that he dreams about, that he compares all others to. The millefeuille that we have literally driven from Paris to Cancale (4 hours) to get. That is the food of Chef Roellinger.

Olivier Roellinger restaurants in Cancale:

    • Le Coquillage (Le Buot, Saint-Méloir-des-Ondes) fine dining inside Chateau Richeux. Now a family-run affair with Chef Olivier’s son Hugo.
    • Grain de Vanille (12 place de la Victoire) a pastry and coffee shop in centre ville. See the pastry section below.

BONUS: Not in Cancale but rather Dinard, Chef Roellinger has an ice cream and millefeuille shop called Vent de Vanille (3 bis Bd of President Wilson, in front of the Palais des Arts) where he experiments with his beloved spices.

Bertrand Larcher Cancale – BREIZH Café

Chef Bertrand Larcher is from Brittany and attended a very prestigious school in a coastal Breton town called Dinard. After opening restaurants in France he took off to Japan to open a creperie in Tokyo. Japanese cuisine and culture have definitely had an influence on his menu design. He now has restaurants in Paris, in Kyoto, in Saint-Malo and in 2018 he opened to cooking school in St-Malo for both professionals looking to learn how to create crepes and run a creperie and amateurs looking to take a fun cooking class. The first restaurant he opened in Cancale was the was Breizh Café which Mr. Misadventures and I had the pleasure of trying (and loving) in 2010. Taking a page from Chef Roellinger’s book, Larcher also opened the Michelin-starred La Table Breizh Café dedicated to Japanese cuisine with a partnership with chef Raphaël-Fumio Kudaka. Then he added a little hotel (guest rooms as they call them) in the same building. The empire continues to grow.

Artichoke Roll and cider at Breizh Cafe in Cancale France
Artichoke Roll and cider at Breizh Cafe.

Bertrand Larcher restaurants in Cancale:

  • Le Comptoir Breizh Café (7 Quai Admis en Chef Thomas) this spot still continues to have what we think is the best crepe in France. The sourcing of the ingredients is just incredible and while we may have had bad service from time to time (typical during busy times or holidays) we still keep coming back because it is just that good. The main chef (although he may have moved to the cooking school in Saint-Malo) is very talented, even married to a Japanese woman – that Japanese fusion runs deep in the Larcher organization – and he visits Japan at least every other year for inspiration. They have a fantastic selection of local cider and it is where we first discovered Domaine de Kervéguen cider.
  • La Table Breizh Café (second floor – or 1st floor in France – of the same location) – we have yet to eat here but it is absolutely ON my bucket list for our next trip to Cancale. Since I love Japanese food and everything Chef Larcher does, I am sure it will be wonderful!

Creperies in Cancale

  • Creperie du Port (Place du Calvaire) decent crepe, but if nothing else go for their well-known and loved rice pudding with salted caramel sauce!
  • Mer’ et Fille (3 Rue de la Vallée Porcon, in center ville) we have eaten here several times, it was right across the street from our condo on our last trip! Good crepes and good prices.
  • Ty Skorn Creperie (4 Place de la Chapelle at the port) everything is homemade and locally sourced, plus ice cream!

Other Cancale Restaurants

    • La Mere Champlain (1 Quai de l’Administrateur en chef Thomas) casual seafood restaurant, sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s fantastic. Best langoustine I’ve ever had came from there (on one visit).
    • Le Bout du Quai (1 Chemin de la Corniche) seafood with a great view of the bay.
    • Le Troquet (19 Quai Gambetta) contemporary bistro market-fresh ingredients and a focus on enhancing the natural flavors of each product. Also known for their far Breton (cake).
    • Restaurant l’Atelier de l’Huitre (15 Quai Gambetta) not a huge menu, but super fresh oysters!

Pastries in Cancale

Millefeuille from Chateau Richeux
Millefeuille from Chateau Richeux. [Canon 5D Mark II; Lens: Zeiss Makro Planar T 2/50 2E; Aperture: 2/.0]
What a difficult task it was researching the best pastries in Cancale! We abandoned our low-carb lifestyle for a week and tried just about every pastry shop in town. Grain de Vanille will always be on top because of its Chef Roellinger roots, but I think just like any very popular place it has its good days and bad. We were visiting around Easter so you could see the frantic stress in their eyes and it came through in the quality of the pastries on some days, but they are still far superior to many, many places in the region. And Mr. Misadventures still dreams of their millefeuille. We also had very good pastries (and bread) from Boulangerie Pâtisserie Guyon (59 Avenue du Général de Gaulle) and Boulangerie Clouard (13 Rue du Port). While in Cancale make sure to try the Kouign Amann, Far Breton and galette Bretonne (Breton biscuits).

Where to Stay

Chateau Richieux Terrace in Cancale France
There are a handful of hotel options in Cancale, the best ones being those that take advantage of the beautiful coastline. But there are also great oyster farm and farms that have been converted to accommodations that make great places to stay while visiting Cancale.

Hotels in Cancale

Chateau Richeux (Le Buot, Saint-Méloir-des-Ondes) luxury Relais-Chateau property on the cliff run by the Roellenger family.
La Mere Champlain (1 Quai de l’Administrateur en chef Thomas) classic inn with modern rooms facing the port.
Les Gîtes Marins (62 Rue des Rimains) little sea cottages run by the Roellenger family.
Guest Rooms at Breizh Café (7 Quai Admis en Chef Thomas) ocean-facing guest rooms facing the Cancale port, run by the Cafe Breizh team.
La Ferme du Vent (and Celtic Baths) (right next to Chateau Richeux) luxury standalone home for rent run by the Roellenger family. If I were to dream up a house to live in, this would be it.
The Rimains (62 rue des Rimains) 4-room inn on a cliff overlooking the sea run by the Roellenger family.

Airbnb Recommendations in Cancale

We have stayed in Airbnbs twice on visits to this area and enjoy the freedom we get from staying in “our own” place, no one will judge the number of Breton pastries we are eating! Here’s where we’ve rented:

Lodging between land and sea > a little addition to a farmhouse where an oyster lives, we stayed for a weekend, it is very small but cozy.
L’Arizona > a condo we rented for 10 days in downtown Cancale right across the street from Grain de Vanille (DANGEROUS).

If you don’t have an Airbnb account, consider using my affiliate link to get one. If you sign up for Airbnb with my link you will get $40 off your home booking. And get $15 to use toward an experience worth $50 or more.

How to Get to Cancale

Transportation Cancale France
Citroën 2CV in Poissy a commune of Cancale.

Cancale By Car

There are 2 routes from Paris to Cancale by car. Saint-Malo is a 4.5-to-5-hour drive from Paris on major Autoroutes. The shorter route (depends on where you start in Paris) takes you on the A13 and the other on the A11 both of which will cost you about 35-40 Euros in tolls before you eventually find yourself on national and departmental roads. We were based in Cancale for our 10-day Brittany trip and did day trips in the car from here.

Train from Paris

There is no train service directly to Cancale. But there are 2 options with a train/bus combo. There is a TGV from the Gare Montparnasse (Paris) that goes through Rennes, the capital of Brittany and then a second train to Saint-Malo where you make a quick transfer to a bus for a 30-minute ride to Cancale. The other option is a direct train from Paris to St-Malo and then the 30-minute bus to Cancale. Of course, the train going through Rennes adds 30 minutes but it all depends on what your schedule is as to which one will work best for you. Check out OuiSNCF for schedule information. I like all the options that Rome 2 Rio provides as well.

GR-34

While you probably aren’t looking to hike the entire Sentier des Douaniers, you can really enjoy a great half-day or day of hiking by following the GR-34 on either side of Cancale. See that section in the information above!

Places to Visit Around Cancale

Pointe du Grouin Cancale-Brittany-France
Pointe du Grouin near Cancale. [Sony A7RIII; Lens: FE 12-24mm; Aperture: F16]
  • Pointe du Grouin, a beautiful headland on the westernmost tip of the Bay of Mont-Saint-Michel with a gorgeous view. You can hike there on the GR34. There is a little island off the point, but it is a bird sanctuary, so off-limits
  • Visit the medieval village of Dinan, in this town you will feel like you stepped into the Middle Ages and its just 30 minutes away.
  • Check out the pirate town of Saint-Malo, 30-minutes from Cancale.
  • Mont Saint-Michel, the UNESCO World Heritage medieval monastery built on top of a single rock cut off to the French coast at high tide is 1 hour from Cancale.
  • Fougères another medieval fortress-of-a-town with a chateau and half-timbered homes 1-hour from Cancale.
  • Fort La Latte, a historic 14th-century fort/chateau on the coast that is absolutely worth the 1-hour drive from Cancale.
  • Cap Frehel – peninsula in Côtes-d’Armor with 2 well-known lighthouses, a 1-hour drive from Cancale.

Camera Equipment used in our Cancale photos

Photos that were taken by me were done so on an iPhone and Sony Cybershot RX100. If you mainly use your camera on “Auto” this is the camera for you (and me!)! I use 3 accessories: a Sony VCT-SGR1 Shooting Grip; and 2 straps: the Peak Design SLL-AS-3 Slide Lite Camera Strap, and the Peak Design CL-2 Clutch Camera Hand Strap. I used my Osprey 18 backpack (the closest thing to it) to carry my stuff. For the photos taken by Mr. Misadventures (anything with a Sel & Poivre Photography watermark), the real pro in the household, he used his Sony A7RIII and the following lenses: Sony FE 12-24mm. Under some photos, we have provided the lens and aperture information. There are some older photos from our trip in 2010 and 2012 that were taken with his old Canon 5D Mark II. His camera equipment was carried around in a MindShift Gear BackLight 18L backpack.

How about you? Have you been to Cancale? Or other parts of Brittany in France? Do share! If not, have I inspired you to visit? Do tell!

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Cancale France – Brittany's Oyster CapitalCancale France – Brittany's Oyster CapitalCancale France – Brittany's Oyster Capital
Cancale France – Brittany's Oyster CapitalCancale France – Brittany's Oyster CapitalCancale France – Brittany's Oyster Capital

52 Comments

  1. Justine
    June 12, 2019

    Looks like a beautiful town! I’ve never seen an oyster farm, how fascinating!

    Reply
  2. Marta Rivera
    June 12, 2019

    It’s not weird that I want to go to Cancale just to eat the oysters, is it?

    Reply
  3. cindy ladage
    June 12, 2019

    The oyster farms look amazing. What neat finds you have discovered. How cool to go a restaurant of a famous chef you discovered from a show! I also love the picture of the little car!

    Reply
  4. Paula @ I'm Busy Being Awesome
    June 12, 2019

    They all look like beautiful spots! I’d love to visit!

    Reply
  5. Rhonda Albom
    June 13, 2019

    I have never seen an oyster farm so I was surprised to see how large and packed with oysters the trays/holders are. I would probably tend towards other seafood and it sounds like the abundance of quality chefs in the region can make it all taste great.

    Reply
  6. Lori Geurin
    June 13, 2019

    A dessert tray with unlimited dessert sounds a little dangerous (but simply delightful) to me! Your photos are gorgeous. I’d love to visit Cancale.

    Reply
  7. Catherine @ To & Fro Fam
    June 13, 2019

    Oh my word, that is a lot of oysters! Your photos are gorgeous of such a stunning place. I especially like the one of you on the beach! How fun to return to the same area and enjoy it another time.

    Reply
  8. Brittany Limberakis
    June 13, 2019

    Wow! This is officially going on my list of places to visit next year during our travels abroad!

    Reply
  9. Tami
    June 13, 2019

    I like your format! I can nearly feel like I’m right there with you as you walk us around the town and show us what to see and where to eat. I love exploring villages in France. I haven’t been to Cancale, but would love to add it to my ever-growing list.

    Reply
  10. Grace
    June 14, 2019

    What a beautiful place! Those oysters look delicious!

    Reply
  11. Rosemary
    June 14, 2019

    Great timing. We just spent the last week of May in Cancale and loved it. It was our first time and we can truly attest to the wonderful oysters. Wow! What amazing gastronomy. While the crepes were fantastic, the oysters really exceeded our expectations especially outside an “r” month :). Great write up on what to do in Cancale and the area. We are already planning our tip back.

    Reply
  12. melody pittman
    June 15, 2019

    Good grief, check out all those oyster beds! I have been to the Brittany region but didn’t see this at all. How very cool. I didn’t even know there were that many different kinds of oysters. I did enjoy the crepes there, supposedly where they were invented. 😉

    Reply
  13. Elaine Masters
    June 17, 2019

    You had me at oysters. How wonderful to spend more than a week in the region. Would pack my Ketchikan Tennies to tromp around those oysterbeds and then eat, eat, eat! Everything looks and sounds so delicious. I’d need two seats on the airplane ride home!

    Reply
  14. Juliann Jones
    June 18, 2019

    You have definitely inspired me to visit Cancale, Andi! As soon as you started sharing the idea of visiting the oyster beds with a naturalist and learning more about them, I was hooked. I would DEFINITELY take this tour. The atmosphere of the low clouds and shore looks like heaven to me. I am going to add this to my list of side trips to take after one of my next business trips to Brussels — where I’ll eat mussels and look forward to an oyster feast in France!

    Reply
  15. Katy F
    June 18, 2019

    What a gorgeous area! The oyster farms and market are just fascinating, but I can’t get over the water views!

    Reply
  16. Pamela
    June 19, 2019

    I’ve never heard of Cancale, and while I’m not a fan of oysters, it would still be awesome to see the oyster beds and how they farm them. However, the crepes and the view look breathtaking!!

    Reply
  17. Kelly
    June 19, 2019

    I have never heard of Cancale before nor did I know about oyster farms. We don’t have them in Canada as far as I know. I love visiting fishing villages. They are so quaint and the locals are always so friendly. And they also have the best seafood!

    Reply
  18. Eileen
    June 19, 2019

    Awesome guide! I have a love hate relationship with oysters growing up in New England, haha. I like a few every season – but just a few! What a beautiful place though, especially those sunsets.

    Reply
  19. Bob
    June 19, 2019

    Wow! This is great, thorough article about Cancale! If my students ever need a resource for a town in France to visit, I’ll direct them here (I’m a French teacher.) Très bien!

    Reply
  20. Brenna - The Great Wide Somewhere
    June 19, 2019

    I’m not an oyster fan, but this area looks absolutely stunning with lots of other stuff to do, so it definitely still looks worth a visit!

    Reply
  21. Janiel Green
    June 19, 2019

    I haven’t even heard of this place until I read your article. I actually just tried oysters for the first time when I was in Florida and didn’t realize that they view oysters like they do wine. I love how you are showing the off the beaten path places in France, I haven’t properly explored France yet – just layovers in Paris – so I’m definitely going to put this on my list.

    Reply
  22. Jenn and Ed Coleman
    June 19, 2019

    Nothing is worse than the hotel staff judging your pastry consumption. Shame. Shame. Shame. Seriously though, Cancale looks absolutely beautiful and well worth purchasing a pair of Wellies for.

    Reply
  23. […] Cancale, a beautiful fishing port and the oyster capital of France, 1-hour and 15-minutes from Fougeres […]

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  24. Krystee
    June 20, 2019

    I never knew all of that about an oyster farm. I absolutely love France and Cancale looks like a beautiful town. I will keep this in mind on my next visit. Thanks for the post!

    Reply
  25. Ashley Hubbard
    June 20, 2019

    I feel like the more and more I read about France outside of Paris (nothing wrong with Paris), the more I want to visit. I’d never heard of Cancale before but it looks lovely and I don’t even eat oysters haha. The water is a gorgeous color too!

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  26. Sarah
    June 21, 2019

    I’m really enjoying your Brittany posts, especially as a trip is actually feasible for me due to that nice little ferry from Portsmouth and Bournemouth! I didn’t actually know this region was famous for oysters. I seem to have developed a love for oysters this year (read: obsessed!), so I would definitely pay Cancale a visit.

    Reply
  27. allison
    June 23, 2019

    The oyster beds look cool and I don’t even like them!

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  28. Darla
    June 24, 2019

    That sounds like a great way to experience the culture versus staying in a more pricey touristy area. I loved visiting Mont Saint-Michel and I’m intrigued by this area. Will pin it for future travel someday when I can return to France 🙂

    Reply
  29. […] we went to Brittany for 10 days and it was a sprint, we packed a lot in – Dinan, Saint-Malo, Cancale, Fougeres and more. I came back home to run a successful collaboration event in Scottsdale. We did […]

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  30. […] Cancale – a fishing port and oyster capital of France, also where our favorite creperie is! 30-minutes from Saint-Malo. […]

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  31. Christopher Rudder
    June 30, 2019

    Cancale somehow gives me this fairy-tale chill. Looks I can stay forever here because of seafood (particularly oysters) and the laid-back atmosphere as a city rat dweller I so dream to always wake up to every day. After my trip to US, I am considering France as my next destination 🙂

    Reply
  32. Kathleen
    July 1, 2019

    Cancale France looks like such a lovely and peaceful place to visit. I prefer traveling in the off season because less people. It seems like you caught it at the perfect time, except I would want to swim. The pastries look divine. We lived in Martinique for a year and I might have eaten my weight in French pastries. The car you photographed is adorable too.

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  33. Adonis Villanueva
    July 1, 2019

    I love your very detailed and long guide to this place, Cancale! I have personally never been but you make me feel like I’m right there with you. The photos (superb btw) and the stories make me live vicariously through you. I love oysters myself and visit several farms on occasions in California and the Pacific Northwest. Though I’ve been to France several times already, I now have another reason to go back 🙂

    Reply
  34. Linda (LD Holland)
    July 1, 2019

    Thanks for showing us a new spot in France we have not visited. It does look like an oyster heaven. Too bad I never discovered a taste for them. Even before I read about parasites. But I bet all the seafood is yummy. Port towns like this are great. Especially from the water on a boat like La Cancalaise. But your sunrise pic showed me that it was a good thing we are early risers. A great way to start the day.

    Reply
  35. Claudia
    July 1, 2019

    I’ve only recently become enamoured with oysters, and wow, what a tasty delicacy of the sea. I obviously have to add Cancale to my list of places to visit now. You’ve really supplied a comprehensive guide I this post. I’d love to take an oyster farm tour to learn more about how the farms work – and good tip about the wellies! Pinned for a future trip.

    Reply
  36. Ami Bhat
    July 2, 2019

    La Cancalaise looks amazing through your pictures. Am also, in favor of GR34, the place looks so refreshing and green. The oyster farming is somethingthat I have never seen before and so, I guess visiting the place and learning more about it should be fun too. Thanks for introducing me to this place.

    Reply
  37. Nicole
    July 2, 2019

    What a beautiful place to visit. You had me at oysters!

    Reply
  38. Hannah
    July 3, 2019

    I live in France, and visit the St Malo area relatively regularly… but can’t believe I’ve never been to Cancale. I’m not a fan of oysters, but millefeuille I can totally get behind! I love the savoury Breton crepes too – it’s one of my favourite things to eat when visiting the area.

    Reply
  39. Suruchi Mittal
    July 3, 2019

    Honestly, we had never heard about Cancale in France earlier. The town is beautiful and we would love to see Oyster farming there. The sunset on the beach is gorgeous. Your pictures are amazing. We would surely love to visit this place once around.

    Reply
  40. […] I have frequently mentioned in posts about places along the Brittany coast, like Saint-Malo and Cancale. The GR-34 runs right in front of Mont St Michel and as it is public land, there are no […]

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  41. […] de Brehat is a 2-hour drive from Cancale and then a 7-minute (yes, you read that right) ferry to the island. Before reaching the island we […]

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  42. […] of course our home base of Cancale, a beautiful fishing port and the oyster capital of […]

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  43. Alma
    September 8, 2019

    Beautiful photos and lovely blog! You ooze inspiration and of course now I would love to explore Cancale! Those oysters look yum!

    Reply
  44. Amy
    September 8, 2019

    Such fun to read as we live in an oyster farm area in Massachusetts. I was never a fan until I had the right out of the water fresh oysters. Will have to visit this gorgeous area

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  45. Nancy Hann
    September 8, 2019

    Hi Andi!

    Thanks so much for sharing about this area in Brittany. I’ve only spent a week in France (so far) and didn’t have a chance to get past Mont St. Michel. I fell in love with the country though and hope to go back soon. I actually ate at Breizh Café in Paris and had the most amazing crepe (or galette?) dessert with apples, caramel and ice cream. I can’t stop thinking about it.

    Reply
  46. Wendy
    November 22, 2019

    Oh my goodness, how could I not visit a place known as an oyster capital?! This place looks awesome, and I was getting hungry just looking at your photos. And by the way, your photos are stunning.

    Reply
  47. Slavka
    November 22, 2019

    I’ll definitely visit Cancale while touring Brittany. I know nothing about oysters and would love to do the oyster farm excursion. Must be interesting! The cruise would be a perfect addition as well. The artichoke roll looks delicious. The photos of the oyster bed are perfect.

    Reply
  48. Bree
    November 23, 2019

    Oysters…you had me at oysters.. your photos are stunning and Im now thinking about putting Cancale on my list of places to go.

    Reply
  49. Jennifer Mostert
    November 24, 2019

    I’m with Bree, you also had me at oysters! Your photos are beautiful and the food photos look scrumptious, I came close to licking my screen… Thanks for a great article, I’m putting Cancale on my list for my next trip to France.

    Reply
  50. Leah
    November 24, 2019

    Cancale looks so beautiful! Those beach photos are stunning. It sounds like a destination I should add to my next trip itinerary to France!

    Reply
  51. Lauren
    November 25, 2019

    Seafood is so not my thing but sea views are! These are beautiful photos! I love seeing other sides of countries than what we normally see!

    Reply
  52. Colin
    December 8, 2019

    An interesting and enjoyable read! It’s a great place to visit and there are similar farms along the coast heading west. Cancale oysters were recently listed by UNESCO as an intangible heritage and its not hard to see why 🙂

    Reply

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